Beninati: Lengthy Shootout Win

Beninati: Lengthy Shootout Win

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caps fans love it when a lengthy shootout goes their way and tonight's game gave them an awful lot to appreciate. This game had so many twists and turns. Let's work backwards from the end of the game, back to the opening period.Semyon Varlamov was exceptional in the shootout. His cat-like reflexes were on display as eleven Islanders tried to beat him and only Jeff Tambellini succeeded.The Caps were also stymied byDwayne Roloson at the other end. Alex Semin scored in round two for the home team and then Chris Clark rifled home the eventual game winner in the 11th round. Before that an Islander had the game on his stick, eight straight times to no avail.The Islanders never give up in a hockey game, so it was no surprise to see them rally to tie the game late in regulation. Trent Hunter's 30-foot slapshot was overpowering with 2:08 left, giving the New Yorkers a power play goal that forced overtime. What else is new when these two teams play? Seven of their last nine meetings have not been settled in regulation.Alex Ovechkin would have loved to play in this one. It was a wide open offensive showcase from the beginning. I don't expect Alex to play in this weekend's games. But he had to pleased when his buddy Alex Semin scored just eight seconds into the game with an evil slapshot. That marker tied the Caps record for fastest goal from the start of a game, equaling the late Gaetan Duchesne's goal against St. Louis in March of 1987.The Islanders took that early uppercut and came back with a few big punches of their own. Three goals on just five shots prompted an early exit for Jose Theodore. The only goal I didn't care for was the one by Matt Moulson. Theodore left a bad rebound off the initial shot for Mark Streit which was not a tough one to handle.

Lifting Theodore sparked the Caps to rally for their veteran netminder. A young goalie eventually proved to be the hero on a night when Verizon Center was shaking at games end. See you on CSN for Friday's game with Minnesota.

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VIDEO: Wizards celebrate first division title in 38 years in locker room with coach Scott Brooks

VIDEO: Wizards celebrate first division title in 38 years in locker room with coach Scott Brooks

On Tuesday night in Los Angeles the Wizards were partying like it was 1979. Okay, maybe not qute but after winning the first division title for the franchise in 38 years, the Wizards held a postgame celebration in the locker room.

It didn't involve champagne or goggles or anything like that, but they did douse coach Scott Brooks with water. And afterwards they came together to embrace as a team.

The aftermath of Brooks' shower and the conversation that followed was captured on camera by the Wizards.

Watch it all right here:

That's good stuff and they earned it.

[RELATED: Wizards break longest division title streak in American pro sports]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Lakers to win division title

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Lakers to win division title

Here are five plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 119-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Tuesday night that are worth revisiting...

1. The Wizards' win over the Lakers meant a lot, as it captured their first division championship in 38 years, since 1978-79. That was the longest division title drought in all of North American pro sports.

The game itself was pretty ugly, as the Wizards found themselves down 16 points at one time before coming back to win. Along the way there were many highlights, including this thunderous slam by John Wall in the first quarter:

2. Wall ended up with 34 points, 14 assists and four steals. Two of those points came on this up-and-under layup. Wall went straight to the rim and finished:

3. Here is one of Wall's four steals. He snatched it and finished on the other end with another big left-handed dunk:

4. Now for the shots that sealed the win. First, here is Bradley Beal hitting a vicious stepback jumper to score two of his 16 points:

5. And here is Wall putting the finishing touches on the victory with a stepback J of his own. This was just nasty:

Now for a few moments unrelated to actually plays. Here is Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell consoling a young girl in the crowd whom he ran into while chasing a loose ball:

Here is the scene postgame after coach Scott Brooks was soaked with water by the Wizards:

And finally, this is a clever meme from Dan Martin on our digital staff. It was a Hollywood ending:

[RELATED: Wizards celebrate first division title in 38 years in locker room]